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ABM Annual: Second day opens with optimism, recognition of challenges

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San Francisco—American Business Media's Annual Conference garnered 215 registrants this year, a 12% increase compared with last year, according to ABM. The association also took note of other reasons for optimism during the morning sessions of the second day of the three-day conference held here. Clark Pettit, ABM's president-CEO, said the organization has gained 52 new members in the past year. Those new members generated $400,000 in additional dues, according to ABM treasurer Anthea Stratigos, who is the CEO of Outsell Inc. She said the association has $3.3 million in revenue for fiscal year 2012, which ends in June, an increase over the previous year. “I'm pleased to report that ABM is again on a growth path,” Stratigos said. ABM also introduced a new slate of officers, who will serve in fiscal year 2013. Jeff Lapin, president of Farm Progress Cos., will be chairman; Stratigos will be vice chairwoman; Neal Vitale, president-CEO of 1105 Media, will be treasurer; and Doug Manoni, CEO of SourceMedia, will be secretary. In his address to the membership, Pettit acknowledged the challenges facing b-to-b media, which include the rise of mobile and social media. But he emphasized that these challenges represent opportunities. Petit encouraged b-to-b media companies to examine the “why” of their existence (to serve an audience and the marketers looking to communicate with it) rather than the “what” of their existence (publishing magazines or producing trade shows). He said b-to-b media has always been good at creating communities, a skill that should serve ABM's member companies well in the era of social media. Petit also said with the barrage of information people are experiencing, b-to-b media companies can play an important role: providing “order in the chaos.”
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